Bertrand Born completed his diploma studies in International Business at Munich Business School from 2001 to 2005. After various professional stations in the United Kingdom, the MBS alumnus has been working for several years in Frankfurt am Main at the asset management company DWS Group in the field of equity investments and portfolio management. In the context of our 30th university anniversary, we asked Bertrand about his memories of his student days in Munich.
MBS Insights: Dear Bertrand, what did you particularly appreciate about your studies at Munich Business School?
Bertrand Born: In addition to studying with smart and fun people, I especially appreciated the integrated semesters abroad. Living and studying in a foreign country is an incredibly valuable experience. You learn so much about the culture, history, and people of your host country. And of course you make new friends abroad – in my case in London and Madrid – many of whom I’m still in touch with today. In current times, where the prevailing world order is challenged by trade wars and growing nationalism, deeper international relations are essential to strengthen global cooperation and understanding. I believe international study-abroad programs can make an important contribution towards this.
MBS Insights: Which courses and/or which lecturers taught you the most?
Bertrand Born: The entrepreneurial business plan projects were great to simulate setting up a real business with all the practical implications this entails. In addition, the course WiKu (Business and Cultural History) by Prof. Harald Müllich was my personal highlight. Apart from enjoying Harald’s unique personality, we obtained a broad overview of general knowledge – e.g. history, philosophy, arts – which in my opinion is just as important as acquiring business knowledge. Offering both – competence and character – is one of the strengths of MBS.
MBS Insights: Studying is not only about learning and cramming. You also try things out outside of the seminar room and experience fun things with your new friends. Which adventure from your time as a student do you like to think back to?
Bertrand Born: There are many, of course, but a particularly fun one was definitely the soccer tournament Cup der Privaten (soccer tournament for exclusively private universities) in the early 2000s. The photo above shows the MBS team: Luis Rodriguez Dominguez, two Spanish guest students, Peter Vargas Sotomonte, Sebastian Mendel, myself, Bastian Menzinger and Johannes Huber (from left to right). We had a lot of fun at the tournament in Dortmund. Some other teams had won luxury brands as their sponsors, so as a reaction to that, and to downplay the “private club nature” of the event, we did a mock branding printing an exaggerated number of luxury logos from Porsche, Rolex, etc. and of course from a Bavarian brewery 😄. On the train ride back to Munich, in Bavarian spirit, we depleted the entire beer supplies of the train’s dining car in mid-journey. So some of us left the train, took a taxi to the next petrol station, bought a few cases of beer, drove to the subsequent train stop, and re-boarded the same train to continue the journey with replenished supplies. From an academic standpoint, we had thus successfully applied key learnings of working capital management and just in time delivery 😉.
MBS Insights: Are you still in contact with former fellow students and are there any that you would particularly like to see again?
Bertrand Born: I actually still have contact with many former fellow students, which is great, especially since we are scattered in different cities or even countries. We also have a joint WhatsApp group where we occasionally communicate with each other. And when returning to Munich, we always manage to catch up with some of the old classmates in person.
I would love to see more old friends from the MBS community again – not only old student friends, but also the lecturers and especially Stefan Baldi, whose leadership and commitment have been instrumental in shaping MBS’ growth and positive development over the past two decades. You are all warmly welcome to visit me in Frankfurt!